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Severe Macaw and charmingly easy-going, severe macaws are the largest of the mini macaws. These birds pack a lot of personality into a smaller, easier-to-care-for package. They are also among the best talkers and enjoy socializing with their human flock.
Origin and History
The severe macaw is native to southern Central America and northern South America. It’s particularly well-known in Panama and Bolivia. There are also populations in Brazil, where the bird is commonly known as the Brazilian green macaw. This species has been introduced to Florida as well. It gets the name “severe” for its aggressive stage of development at adolescence.
In the wild, the severe macaw enjoys forests and habitats of all kinds as long as trees are available. They generally prefer areas that are subject to river flooding. It can be challenging to see them because they enjoy roosting in cavities high up in the trees.
Farm fields offer plenty of food for these birds. It’s not uncommon to find large, very loud flocks foraging the fields early in the morning. These birds can be a nuisance for farmers.
Severe macaws often congregate at clay licks with a variety of other birds. These clay hills usually caused by erosion along riverbanks are popular spots for many parrots. It’s thought that the clay supplements their diet, protecting against toxins in their food and providing essential minerals.1
Not bred in captivity as long as other parrots, severe macaws have not been fully domesticated. They continue to exhibit many of their instincts like lunging and screeching. However, when socialized as a young bird, they can become ideal pets.
Friendly and comical, the severe macaw’s larger-than-life personality makes it a favorite among bird lovers. With adequate socialization, severe macaws bond quickly with their owners, responding well to training, learning tricks, and boasting impressive speech abilities.
Severe macaws are also curious. They love puzzles and games and can become enamored by shiny things. Keep your jewelry out of reach; it may get unintentionally damaged.
One unique characteristic that seems out of place with this friendly species is that they generally don’t like a lot of touching. Quite often, they’re more content to be near their owner or on their shoulder, but in most cases, this parrot does not like cuddling or petting.
Like many parrots, severe macaws go through a bluffing stage as they reach maturity. This stage can last for two weeks or up to two years. If you plan on getting a young macaw, you will need to be patient and enforce its training during potential periods of lunging, nipping, biting, hissing, and general resistance to interaction. For this reason, pre-adolescent macaws may not be suitable for families with young children